The saying ‘live to work, don’t work to live’ definitely rings true. I’ve also seen countless people sharing quotes on LinkedIn about companies being able to replace a person pretty quickly were they to pass away, whereas for their family they’d never be able to move on, which is quite sobering…
But what does annoy me is this new trend of ‘hard work shaming’. People are being made to feel guilty about the fact they care about their job and want to work as hard as they possibly can to make a success of it. What’s so bad about that?
We all have our own measure of success
You may see success as any number of things — having a fancy title, a good income, being respected by your colleagues, working for a cause you believe in, or supporting your community — but equally, it might be spending as much time as possible with your loved ones, or having the freedom to choose how you spend your time by working for yourself.
Any of those things are fine, and as much as it would be wrong to make someone feel bad about prioritising their family over their career, I think the same goes for people who want to work hard to make a living and throw themselves into their job.
Being a hard worker, and showing dedication and motivation are intrinsic traits. Sure, you can force yourself to work hard, but if it doesn’t come naturally then things will start to tail off pretty quickly.
Sustained hard work and high performance can be very tough.
For a person to love what they do to the extent that they throw themselves into work completely is something to be celebrated — provided they see personal benefit from it.
There’s a difference between working hard and being rewarded, and being exploited. If you feel like the situation you’re in is the latter then there are plenty of other companies willing to give you an opportunity and provide you with appropriate recognition.
The hard workers who see the fruits of their labour should not have to feel ashamed about working hard. If they’re following their passions and progressing through the ranks as a result of their efforts then hats off to them.
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